So much had been surrendered! And to such little purpose! There had been mad wilful rejections, monstrous forms of self-torture and self-denial, whose origin was fear and whose result was a degradation infinitely more terrible than that fancied degradation from which, in their ignorance, they had sought to escape (...)
I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority, because I believe that the War is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this War, on which I entered as a war of defence and liberation, has now become a war of aggression and conquest.
In my dealing with my child, my Latin and Greek, my accomplishments and my money stead me nothing; but as much soul as I have avails. If I am wilful, he sets his will against mine, one for one, and leaves me, if I please, the degradation of beating him by my superiority of strength. But if I renounce my will, and act for the soul, setting that up as umpire between us two, out of his young eyes looks the same soul; he reveres and loves with me.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
That the system of morals propounded in the New Testament contained no maxim which had not been previously enunciated, and that some of the most beautiful passages in the apostolic writings are quotations from Pagan authors, is well known to every scholar... To assert that Christianity communicated to man moral truths previously unknown, argues on the part of the asserted either gross ignorance or wilful fraud.
Henry Thomas Buckle
There is a wilful lemming-like persistance in remaking past successes time after time. They can't make them as good as they are in our memories, but they go on doing them and each time it's a disaster. Why don't we remake some of our bad pictures - I'd love another shot at 'Roots of Heaven' - and make them good?
The designation of the locality in one excludes the appearances narrated by the rest; the determination of time in another leaves no space for the narratives of his fellow-evangelists; the enumeration of a third is given without any regard to the events reported by his predecessors; lastly, among several appearances recounted by various narrators, each claims to be the last, and yet has nothing in common with the others. Hence nothing but wilful blindness can prevent the perception that no one of the narrators knew and presupposed what another records.
David Friedrich Strauss
Indeed the mind of Ileºvatar concerning you is not known to the Valar, and he has not revealed all things that are to come. But this we hold to be true, that your home is not here, neither in the land of Aman nor anywhere within the Circles of the World. And the Doom of Men, that they should depart, was at first a gift of Ileºvatar. It became a grief to them only because coming under the shadow of Morgoth it seemed to them that they were surrounded by a great darkness, of which they grew afraid; and some grew wilful and proud and would not yield, until life was reft from them.
It's time, little one, ' he coaxes from above me. I take a deep breath as I crawl to where he instructs me. My heart is racing and I feel like tears could be close again. But I am resolved. I am going to do this. I know my own wilful obstinacy will see me into the stocks and from there it really is up to Shaw. He positions me in front of the stocks and waits a few seconds, letting me absorb their magnitude, before speaking. 'Kneel.' Just one word but it seals my fate. I comply immediately, wordlessly, allowing my terror to turn into the first shoots of arousal. This is really happening...
That mortal man who hath more of joy than sorrow in him, that mortal man cannot be true - not true, or undeveloped. With books the same. The truest of all men was the Man of Sorrows, and the truest of all books is Solomon's, and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered steel of woe. 'All is vanity.' ALL. This wilful world hath not got hold of unchristian Solomon's wisdom yet.
You deal with me very frankly, and I thank you for it, ' said I. 'I will try on my side to be no less honest. I believe these deep duties may lie upon your lordship; I believe you may have laid them on your conscience when you took the oaths of the high office which you hold. But for me, who am just a plain man-or scarce a man yet-the plain duties must suffice. I can think but of two things, of a poor soul in the immediate and unjust danger of a shameful death, and of the cries and tears of his wife that still tingle in my head. I cannot see beyond, my lord. It's the way I am made. If the country has to fall, it has to fall. And I pray God, if this is wilful blindness, that He may enlighten me before too late.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Whatever wisdom I have has been hard-earned - each meaning carefully culled out of the dictionary of human experiences and emotions and put in its precise place in the matrix. Meaning doesn't come easy. The Great Crossword Setter in the Sky is capricious and wilful, demanding absolute obedience. You can waste the better part of a lifetime arguing about the randomness of the clues, the setting of the squares, why a certain square is black and not white as you need it to be, question the whole point of doing the crossword - what, after all, is to be gained by solving it. Only after all the chattering is over and you give your complete attention to it, does the perfection of the pattern reveal itself. As is, where is, everything fits. And at the end, when it's all done, there is no reward to be had - the joy of doing it right is all the reward there ever is. (A Deepavali Gift)
And those who will carefully study the so-called 'Mosaic code' contained in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, will see that, though Jahveh's prohibitions of certain forms of immorality are strict and sweeping, his wrath is quite as strongly kindled against infractions of ritual ordinances. Accidental homicide may go unpunished, and reparation may be made for wilful theft. On the other hand, Nadab and Abihu, who 'offered strange fire before Jahveh, which he had not commanded them, ' were swiftly devoured by Jahveh's fire; he who sacrificed anywhere except at the allotted place was to be 'cut off from his people'; so was he who ate blood; and the details of the upholstery of the Tabernacle, of the millinery of the priests' vestments, and of the cabinet work of the ark, can plead direct authority from Jahveh, no less than moral commands.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows- a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues - every stately or lovely emblazoning - the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtile deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified Nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within; and when we proceed further, and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, for ever remains white or colorless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses, with its own blank tinge - pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us a leper; and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear colored and coloring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?